Shoo, Tuesday came and it went hey? As much as it was a ‘relaxing’ day, the heat kinda knocks it out of you and all you want to do is drink litres of unhealthy fizzies and lay in a pool of comfortably cool water. Sigh…… oh, I’m sorry – I completely lost my reason for this post there, lol. So, homeschool approaches – hmmm. This is such a kaleidoscope of a topic because each family is so unique and adapts according to their individual budgets, children and lifestyles. So what I’ve thought would be a great starting point would just give the ‘cliff notes’ and tell you about the very basic categories and then we can get into more details another day – cool?
These basic groupings are
1. Structured through an institution,
2. Structured curriculum,
3.Eclectic approach, and
So, you’ll either understand all, one or absolutely none of the above groupings. So I’ll put it across in the way that I understand it and give examples of some of them from families that use them.
Structured through an Institution
This is when you apply and sign up with a homeschool curriculum provider that you pay to provide all of your needs regarding your child’s education. Be it books, support groups, tutors, extra murals etc. Many families that use this find it helps to transition their children from home to a school environment (should they wish to do so) because it gives very similar kinds of pressure when it comes to weekly deadlines and accountability apart from mom or dad – with the luxury of setting your own pace as well. There are various types and they have different procedures they follow in terms of tutor assistants and marking guidelines.
This is when you fly solo as a family but order your curriculum from a homeschool curriculum provider and follow the suggested schedule they provide with the various books, activity sheets and instruction materials. The kind of family that uses this would set their own pace completely and either speed up or slow down depending on the child’s strengths or weaknesses but keep the subjects aligned to run alongside each other at the same pace. This is normally for the family that want to choose when to tick boxes and not have to be under the pressure of someone checking up on them constantly.
This is when a family will take the subjects that they want to do and draw material from various sources to meet the needs of the subject boxes. For example, Maths will be from provider A, whereas English will be from Provider C coupled together with other supplementary resources found either online or at the library. There’s also a lot of research required by the parent before embarking on a topic (which is more so in the younger years than later when they start researching for themselves more) This also gives the child the freedom to race ahead in their stronger learning subjects and also take a lot more time with their weaker ones without having to align everything together.
Many that hear this term find they either love it or hate the idea, but it’s what works for some families. This approach is very similar to the ‘Montesorri’ way of thinking. (for those schooling parents that want to understand what I’m going to say) This is when learning is lead by the child’s interests and focus points in their respective seasons. They learn through the natural experiences of their days. So families will do a lot of outings, experiments and make lifestyle choices to make their everyday lives a classroom. (now, most homeschoolers use this philosophy with regards to learning throughout the day in some way anyway) but this approach is very focused in on making life experiences the tools to an education. This one can’t be boxed and explained but is best understood when chatting to a family that does it.
I hope this has helped pave the way forward when the time comes to interview and dig into various families lives and their homeschool choices. If you have any points to add, that I might have missed or questions that I can ask the families in our home educating network – please feel free to share in the comments section so we can learn more from each other.